Back More research, better product decisions

Date: 03 April 2017

Farmers often use hybrid performance during the current season to help decide which hybrids to plant the following year. However using good quality yield data from trials conducted at multiple locations over several years can help you make a better decision. There are several important considerations when looking at results from trial plots or strips.

Choose well executed trials

Hybrids should be planted on sites where irregularities in soil type, drainage, fertility and compaction are minimal. At each location you are testing two hybrids along with all other variables including seed treatments, weed and pest control, time of harvest and weighing device should be the same. 

Make a valid hybrid comparison

Evaluate like products with one another. Different companies assign different relative maturity ratings to their hybrids. A 100 CRM Pioneer® brand maize silage hybrid does not necessarily take the same amount of time to reach harvest maturity as a 100 CRM hybrid from another company. When comparing hybrids look at widescale research data and compare hybrids which are within +/- 2.5% drymatter of each other at harvest. 

Beware of small yield differences

The smaller the yield differences between products, the more trials that are needed to ensure the measured difference is real and not just due to chance.

Next year will not be the same as this year

Using multiple locations over multiple years is highly recommended. Using a single plot is interesting for local comparisons and provides a great history, but to truly predict future performance with unknown growing conditions, use a minimum of 10 or more plots to compare the same products. Look at multiple years of data or different environments to check on consistency of products under different growing conditions. 

Hybrid choice is one of the most important decisions you make on your farm each year. Be sure you give it the consideration and care it deserves.

Local research for local growers

Each season the Pioneer® brand products research team work with local growers and contractors to test a broad range of experimental hybrids under local conditions at multiple locations. 

We start with the most likely candidates from Pioneer’s international maize breeding programme. These are tested in New Zealand in replicated small plot IMPACT™ (Intensively Managed Product Advancement, Characterisation and Training) trials. The handful of hybrids which show promise move from the IMPACT™ to the Product Advancement Trials (PAT) stage of testing where they are planted in strips alongside commercially available maize hybrids in growers’ paddocks. 

New hybrids planted in IMPACT trials are carefully observed and their performance is rated for a broad range of plant performance characteristics such as standability, disease resistance, silage quality and yield.

Out of the trial programme emerges a range of commercial hybrids which have been proven to perform well within their growing region. 

The trialling programme allows us to understand the “personality” of each and every Pioneer® brand maize hybrid. Data collected at multiple locations over several seasons allows your local Pioneer representative, merchant or contractor to recommend the very best product or products for every paddock on your farm.